The Most Simple, Natural, and Effective Deodorant You Will Ever Use

The Most Simple, Natural, and Effective Deodorant You Will Ever Use

There I was, in the bathroom. Staring into the mirror and wondering if I was tipping the scales into crazy or if I was about to embark on a whole new level of awesome…

…with a lemon wedge in my hand.

The only one around was my giggling 6 year old, so I really had nothing to lose. My homemade deodorant and pregnancy hormones weren’t playing nice, and I had developed an itchy rash from using it.

After a day of cleaning and ‘glowing’, now was as good of a time as any.

I rubbed a lemon wedge on my underarms and waited for something to happen.


It took almost an hour that first time, but any hint of body odor disappeared. And I mean completely.

Lemon as a Deodorant

A reader in my essential oils group commented that she only uses a lemon slice as deodorant. I heard this in passing but haven’t thought much about it. Til now.

Now, it’s the best thing since sliced bread.

For the last 3 weeks, I have used nothing but a single lemon slice for deodorant. Humid, sticky, summer weather and pregnancy have not put a dent in its superpowers.

The skin darkening effect of hormones + baking soda disappeared. The rash disappeared. And there’s never any residue on my skin or my clothes.

I am over the moon excited.

It’s the little things.

How to Apply Lemon ‘Deodorant’

1. Cut a slice or thin wedge from a lemon.

2. Rub on the entire underarm area (where you sweat). Cover the skin with a thin layer of lemon juice.

Both shaven and unshaven worked for me. Hey, I was conducting an experiment, right?

3. Let dry for about 30 seconds in front of a fan for faster drying or just suck it up and rush out the door like I usually have to do. Works the same.

So far, I’ve only had to reapply after showering but your results may vary if you are transitioning from a conventional deodorant. You can keep some lemon in a small snack baggie in your purse for a back up application.

If you’ve just shaved, give it 10-15 minutes before you slather on anything acidic.

This may not work for you. I haven’t met anyone who it hasn’t worked for yet, but there will inevitably be someone who has a body chemistry that doesn’t respond.

There are a TON of natural options out there, including my homemade deodorant. I used that recipe for 5 years with fantastic results. 

You are now going to ask me if you can use the lemon that comes in a bottle or lemon essential oil or this or that. I have tried straight lemon essential oil with stinky results (bad, bad, bad), and I don’t use any lemon ‘products’ that pass as fresh juice.

Have you ever tried lemon as a natural deodorant?

The Most Simple, Natural, and Effective Deodorant You Will Ever Use



Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

42 thoughts on “The Most Simple, Natural, and Effective Deodorant You Will Ever Use”

  • I’ll have to give that a try. I currently use plain milk of magnesia (M.o.M.), but i was thinking I should try something more readily available. Our neighbors have lemon trees and we can pick them for free!

    For my first year of non store bought deo, I used baking soda/arrowroot/coconut oil homemade deodorant, but then I heard about M.o.M. and was sold on the simplicity of one ingredient deodorant. And it works fabulously btw!

  • i have used “crystal” deodorant for years but recently it has begun to fail. i heard about lemon so i added “true” lemon to my spray “crystal”. it works great but breaks me out. still searching for perfection, i do not want to return to “secret”

    • I would suggest trying my suggestion above and using straight lemon in place of any chemical alternatives. The word natural isn’t regulated, so many of the products marketed that way really aren’t.

  • I’d be curious to see if I could use lemon essential oil in vodka or witch hazel or something in a spray bottle for convenience. Be a guinea pig!

    • I’ll let you be the guinea pig and report back. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Lemon essential oil wasn’t effective for me. I left the house one day and forgot to apply the lemon and tried it in a pinch. It was not pretty.

      I’m sure it works for some people though.

    • I’ve been using lemon or orange EO mixed with vodka or grain alcohol in a little spray bottle and it works just fine for me. You can add any EO you like the smell of!

  • ah this works! any natural deoderant or homemade never worked for me! but this did and its so much easier, I live in okinawa, japan where its usually 80% humidity and this works here. thank you so much!

  • I have tried everything including making my own deodorant (not bad) but this works perfectly!!! I am shocked but thankful. I use the lemon juice bottle from the grocery and soak some onto a cotton pad then wipe under arms. TRY THIS. I always experienced odor since I am an active person and one who (ahem) …sweats. BONUS: there are no residues from shea butter or other ingredients that end up on clothes and towels. THANK YOU JENNIFER!!!!

  • I have been using lemons for a few years now. I slice a lemon, then cut each slice into 8 much smaller triangles, stick them into a sandwich baggie & toss the baggie in the freezer. I never have the need to use more than a triangle wedge for the day & sometimes I’ll use it as a toner on my face before moving on to my pits.
    I’ve tried using alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, essential oil mixes, straight coconut oil etc & nothing beats using straight lemon. Glad to see the secret being shared. Most people look at me very funny & almost disgusted when I suggest a lemon wedge. It’s nothing new, my grandmother used to suggest it to me when I was little. I don’t know why I’d forgotten all about it until I found myself in a pinch & was out of deodorant.

  • It seems I might be having an allergic reaction to this but the skin has gotten really irritated and itchy after doing this. I switched back to using coconut oil only and the rash seems to be clearing up. Any ideas what could have caused this? I want to go back to feeling fresh

  • This is THE most AMAZING thing EVER!!! I seriously can’t believe this works. I am a really active and sweaty, and therefore stinky, person generally so I have an arsenal of products to keep me smelling fresh. This actually held me through an intense training session AND through a pole dance class. I’ve never been more ecstatic about a product before! Love love love! Thank you for posting this!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I also have tried all the homemade versions suggested but found I was irritated from it or really stunk! I had heard that lime juice works. I keep a little lime juice in a spray bottle in the refrigerator. It works great!!

    • I’m usually a black on black kind of girl with clothes, and I’ve never had any bleaching or discoloration. It’s something people could watch out for, but I haven’t had it happen to anyone yet.

    • None that I know of. The yellow armpit stains are normally caused by a reaction between the man-made chemicals in the deodorant and sweat. Lemon juice itself will not do so, but sweat alone may depending on what is coming through your sweat glands.

  • I have to be honest, I was skeptical. I have used natural alternatives to deodorant for years to no avail. I am a stinky sweater on a daily basis. I tried the lemon wedge this morning…no stinkiness at all! Unreal. Now the next thing is…will it eventually break me out…as most natural type ‘deodorants’ will. I hope.not! Thanks for the tip!

  • Unbelievable! I’ve tried so many natural deodorants over the years. I happened to read this on pinterest and tried it. I’m a sweater. Now I don’t mean just a little sweat. I mean a LOT. And stinky sweat. I’ve used this method the last two .mornings before work and even after my evening work out I have NO smell at all!!! I’m thrilled. Cheap and natural. My kind of deodorant. Thank you soich for this info!!!!

  • I have recently started this and I LOVE it. Absolutely no smell! One problem. What do people do when you travel? Carrying around lemon slices doesn’t seem like the most convenient idea, especially in spaces where you have limited or no access to a fridge. Any thoughts?

    • If you’re at a hotel, you can order them from room service, the restaurant, or grab some from the breakfast buffet by the tea service. I always pack my homemade baking soda deodorant as a back up. I can usually use it once or twice without any issues.

  • Francine you can squeeze some lemon juice in a small bottle, but I actually just bring along half a lemon and wrap it in aluminum foil. The aluminum foil seems to keep the lemon fresh longer versus keeping it in a baggy.

  • I have a bad time with sweating, which is the main cause for my BO. Do the lemons help with the sweating in addition to the odor?

    • It’s only for the odor. Excessive sweating is often a symptom of an imbalance in the body. I used to have it too caused by an overburdened detoxification system, overactive immune system, and cardiovascular distress caused by digestive dysfunction and allergies.

  • I just started using lemons 2 days ago. I’m always sweating because of my anxiety under my armpits mostly. Today they sting because I scrubbed too hard in the shower. They are sticky but I don’t smell any odor. I hope it works and continues to work for me. How do you guys keep your pits dry with the lemon on them?

    • I no longer sweat excessively after cleaning up my diet and healing, but you can use a light dusting of baking soda, bentonite clay, arrowroot starch, or even non-GMO cornstarch to help control a bit of the moisture. Antiperspirants are pretty scary, so most of us learn to just work with nature to stay healthy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I’ve started using lime because my bras were really smelling. And for the last 2 weeks I’ve not had that BO smell that lingers all day and makes me paranoid. And now my fiancรฉ has started using limes too! But we are noticing that we are getting a bit of a rash, and that’s the pits (pun intended)! Should this happen? Should you only use the lime every other day? If you do use it every other day, what do you use for the day’s without lime?

    • That’s a bummer! It’s about the acid/alkaline balance. Everyone has a different threshold, and it’s the reason many people react to homemade baking soda deodorants. I would suggest trying magnesium oil and maybe rotating them to see how it works. Skin balance usually follows gut balance, so you may want to work on gut health if you haven’t already started.

  • I’m using the lemon juice in a spray bottle and it works. I have worked out using the lemon juice and I was still fresh. I definitely love it!!

  • I am thrilled for this simple, natural, effective deodorant! I have tried so many that work for a little while and then stop working or else they break me out. I’m on my second week of using the lemon and it works wonders! No stinky pits! THANK YOU!!!

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